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5 Tips for Getting the Most from Creative Crowdsourcing


INFLUENCER: Crowdiate's Sarah Bixler shares a few rules of thumb that will yield incredible results and a large ROI

5 Tips for Getting the Most from Creative Crowdsourcing

I’ve spent the better part of the past decade working for companies that are disrupting the way people think about creating content. In particular, my area of expertise is working with diverse and decentralised networks of creators to solve marketing challenges in content and branding - otherwise known as creative crowdsourcing. There can be a learning curve when clients decide to embrace a non-traditional model, but by following a few rules of thumb, this approach will yield incredible results and a large ROI.

1. Expect collaboration. When done well, crowdsourcing is highly collaborative. Unlike traditional agencies, crowdsourcing should bring clients in early and tap their intimate knowledge of the brand to hone in on the best concepts. No one has a horse in the race. No one is trying to 'sell' an idea, and everyone has the same goal of discovering the best possible creative.

2. Place adequate importance on the brief. This applies to all creative briefs, as everyone in the advertising world can attest. A strong brief is absolutely critical to delivering great work, and sometimes it takes multiple revisions to crack it. Understand the strategic capabilities of the crowdsourcing agency you hire and what is necessary to their briefing process. Don't allow tight timelines and promises of quick turnaround get in the way! One of the roles of a conscientious crowdsourcing agency is to help you craft (or sometimes adapt) a brief that will inspire their particular community of creators.

3. Curation is key. Having an expert vet submissions and recognise the potential in them is essential to getting the most out of the process. When hiring a company that does creative crowdsourcing, be sure to understand exactly what the curation process looks like. Who is involved? What are their credentials and creative chops? Inevitably there will be a range in quality of submissions, so you want a trained eye to facilitate discovering and developing the strongest creative.

4. Embrace democratised creativity. The beauty of working with a diverse and decentralised team of creative thinkers is that you are asking people from different walks of life to think about your business opportunity. You are casting a wide net. This means submissions might tap different reference points or be completely outside anything you've ever been asked to consider - let alone approve. This is how you find that needle-in-a-haystack creative. The trick is to get clarity on the nature and calibre of the community you are briefing to ensure you're working with the right people.

5. Know how creatives are compensated. This seems obvious, but it’s all too common for creative people to be asked to work for free or to stretch a budget unrealistically - always to the detriment of the final product. It’s 100% ok for clients to expect transparency in pricing structures, particularly when it comes to prize money or production funding. That said, the bigger the prize bucket the higher caliber of creative talent will participate in the brief. Spend the extra money towards rewarding creative participation. It’s a win win for everyone.

Creative crowdsourcing should be a democratic process of discovery that allows clients the opportunity to explore many expressions of their brief. There will be submissions that fall far outside what you would ever expect as well as those that are status quo. Ultimately you’re looking to benefit from the best network of creative talent, supported by experts that can thoughtfully navigate the process from brief writing to final creative.

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Crowdiate, Fri, 11 Oct 2019 13:19:33 GMT